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" Thanks to all who have continued to read my newsletters. I attempt to provide a concise legislative update, share important information that impacts Mississippi Deltans, and, most importantly, communicate positive news about the Mississippi Delta. While I know our area has its challenges, there are some things that deserve to be celebrated. In this photo, I am at my business in Cleveland, MS on Sunday afternoon preparing for the upcoming week and enjoying a Mississippi Delta sunset."

Mississippi State Representative Abe Marshall Hudson, Jr.
(Bolivar & Sunflower Counties, House District 29)


Information that Impacts Mississippians

Below are a few items I believe you, as a constituent, Mississippian, or friend, might find intriguing. Please click the BLUE links below for information about the following topics: 


Authored and Co-Authored Bills

It is hard to believe that session will likely be over in about two and a half weeks. Maybe it's the statewide election hype that has it moving along so quickly. Nonetheless, a lot of bills have either passed or died on the calendar. Please Click Here to see the bills I authored and co-authored that are dead or alive.
Each day we are in legislative session, a doctor is on site at the Capitol. I was glad to have a constituent serving as "Doctor of the Day" on Thursday. 

Dr. DeGail Hadley is a family medicine specialist in Cleveland, MS. He specializes in family medicine. Dr. Hadley was invited by Senator Willie Simmons and welcomed on the Senate side as well.

Newsletters

Missed my old newsletters for the 2019 session? No problem. Please click the blue link below to catch up on what's been happening in the Mississippi Legislature.

The Delta State University Statesmen Claim sixth Gulf South Conference Championship with a 64-60 win over the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Way to go guys!!!

Tamara Travis (Coahoma Community College) and Carolyn Williams (Southwest Mississippi Community College) are two advocates for workforce development. I met them at a Skill Up Mississippi event. The newly formed organization helps individuals gain the skills they need to be competitive in the job market and find their path to success in a rewarding career.  

I know I talk about the Mississippi Delta a lot, but I have got mad love for Jackson, Mississippi. It is my hope that we can continue to improve the Capitol City to ensure it will be a economic, educational, and social example for other Southern cities. The National Conference of State Legislators had a reception at the Governor's Mansion. I stopped to take this photo after briefly attending this event on a cold Mississippi night.

Chairman Mac Huddleston has served for 12 years. He represents Ponotoc County. He is also a practicing veterinarian. It's always fascinating to sit down with my colleagues to hear what they do outside of the legislature. You can find something in common with everyone if you put forth the effort. I think the only way we can move forward in Mississippi is to understand one another's unique areas and vastly different points of view.

Each year, Innovate Mississippi has a showcase to share what Mississippi entrepreneurs are introducing to the market. I experimented with virtual reality, drank kale that tasted like sweet tea, experienced virtual reality simulation, and tried my hand at using a new garden tool.

The Alcorn State University football team was at the Capitol to be recognized as Southwestern Athletic Conference Champions.  Congratulations on a great season, and I am looking forward to next year!!!

Roger Moore has a famous name (considering most people think of "007" when they hear the name). He and I briefly met to discuss initiatives that the Southern Legislative Conference is attempting to execute.

Flyzone has monthly meetings to engage men in dialogue that helps us to become better leaders in our community. This month, the Director, Kierre Rimmer, invited women to engage in the conversation. In this photo, I am listening as Dr. Tan McKinney shares her point of view about the documentary entitled "13th." It provided insight into the criminal justice system over the past 150 years.

2019 Mississippi Legislative
Session (Week 9)

This was the ninth week of the 2019 Legislative Session.  The deadline for House committees to report Senate bills occurred Tuesday at 8 p.m.  Any Senate bills that did not make it out of committees died.  Throughout the rest of the week, the House met to discuss bills that survived this deadline.

Senate Bill 2675, an effort to extend the voucher program for special needs students died in the House Education Committee. It is my position that our public schools should be fully funded in order to provide the educational needs of every student - rather than funding programs to bus students over county lines or depend on private schools to do it for us. The voucher program was an effort to help special needs students receive the services they need, but some students were left out of the program and others found that their taxpayer funded vouchers weren't enough to ensure them a spot in a private school.  

Senate Bill 2161 would amend current law by revising definitions and clarifying qualifications for the office of the State Medical Examiner and its deputies. A lengthy discussion ensued when opponents of the bill argued that the bill would not do enough to speed up the already lengthy autopsy process in the state.  Proponents said that the bill would be a step in the right direction for repairing that process.  The bill passed the House 81-31 without changes and is on its way to the Governor.

With the passage of Senate Bill 2043, the fee for a marriage license would increase from $20 to $35.  Currently, circuit clerks also deposit $14 of every fee collected into the Victims of Domestic Violence Fund. The House Ways and Means Committee proposed an amendment that would increase the amount deposited into the fund to $24.  The amendment was adopted with a voice vote, and the bill passed as amended by a vote of 96-17.

Under Senate Bill 2827, local public officials' salaries would increase.  These public officials include chancery and circuit clerks, tax assessors, county supervisors and others.  If enacted into law, certain fees collected by city and county entities would increase to pay for the pay raises. The House Appropriations Committee introduced a strike-all amendment changing some of the original language of the bill.  The bill passed as amended by a vote of 93-14 and has been sent back to the Senate.

Senate Bill 2864 would revise the current definition of a "covered claim" under the Mississippi Insurance Guaranty Association Law.  The House passed an identical bill earlier in the session ( House Bill 322), so there was little debate when this was introduced to the House floor.  The bill passed with a bipartisan vote of 114-2 and has been sent to Governor Bryant to sign.

All Senate bills approved by the House will be sent back with changes to the Senate for concurrence or to invite conference.

Legislators honored several Mississippians at the Capitol this week for their personal accomplishments and positive representation of our state.  On Tuesday, we honored the 2018 Alcorn State University Football Team for winning the 2018 Southwestern Atlantic Conference Championship, their third championship in the last five years. That same day, we recognized DeSoto County natives Dan and Daniel Arata and Jesse Wims for representing the State of Mississippi at the 2018 Special Olympics National Games.  Wims was also recognized for winning four gold medals while competing.  On Wednesday, the House recognized the West Point High School Football Team for winning the MHSAA 5A State Championship for the third year in a row.
State Revenues

Mississippi received some good news on Friday. State revenues for Fiscal Year 2019 were up more than $129 million compared to estimates issued during budgeting processes last year. In February, collections were up $44.5 million above the sine die revenue estimate. This announcement comes as the Legislature is gearing up for hard budget negotiations is excellent news. 

Teacher Pay Raise

I am awaiting action on Senate Bill 2770. It contains the inadequate $500 per year teacher pay raise proposal. I will be fighting to increase the raise amount substantially when the bill is revisited on the House floor. Some of us are advocating that any raise be awarded in December in a lump sum to stave off the financial distress caused by the six weeks without income our educators suffer. There is also agreement that the steps currently in place should be increased by at least 2 percent for the first 24 years, and 5 percent after that. Those who have dedicated their lives to creating a thriving, hopeful future for Mississippi by educating our children deserve our full support.

Landowners Protection Act

I oppose both versions of the "Landowners Protection Act." This measure would render it next to impossible for a crime victim to get help from a dangerous location's property owner. The House version died, but Senate Bill 2901 is still alive. Sponsors were apparently startled to learn that the provisions of the measure would affect all lawsuits - even those for white collar crime - and impede the ability for those victims to receive just compensation. An amendment was offered to clear that up, and the measure now goes back to the Senate for either concurrence or an invitation for conference. It remains my position that this measure is bad for innocent Mississippians.

Motion Picture Incentive Act

We were pleased to support the Motion Picture Incentive Act ( Senate Bill 2603) which has passed both the House and Senate. You may remember that important tax incentives and rebates to attract the movie industry to Mississippi were cut from the state budget a few years ago. It was a short-sighted move when it happened. Since that cut, no movies have been filmed in Mississippi - despite our stellar industry reputation for supporting filmmaking. In fact, " The Free State of Jones" was even filmed in Louisiana after the cuts. We are pleased to announce that this bill has gone to the Governor for his signature and will become law.

How to Contact Legislators

Please email your Representatives and Senators via group email at the following addresses: Representatives@house.ms.gov or  Senators@senate.ms.gov.

Stay in Touch With Social Media

You can stay in touch with Abe by using social media. Follow him on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. Please click the links below and be a part of what's going on in the Mississippi Delta.
 
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    Representative Abe M. Hudson, Jr. | 662-522-1400www.abemhudsonjr.com

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